Fantasy Canyon is a small roadside attraction of highly weathered rock formations in very bizarre shapes. Fantasy Canyon is the official designation of an area composed of unique erosional features. It contains some of the most unique geologic features in the world. Fantasy Canyon is located about 25 miles south of Vernal, in northeastern Utah, United States.
The place itself is famous locally as “The Devil’s Playground” and “Hades Pit”.
Hades is the lord of the underworld in Greek mythology. The Fantasy Canyon is a small area, actually, not a canyon. In reality, is packed with some of the most exclusively weathered rock formations bearing intriguing descriptive names such as “Flying Witch”, “Screaming Man” and “Alien Head”. During the Eocene Epoch, about 40 to 50 million years ago, the Unita Basin was well covered by a big lake called Lake Uinta.
Fantasy Canyon was located along the east shore of the lake. Which is started to fill with sediments from the surrounding area. That was once loose sands, silts, and clays were forged into sandstone and shale. Moreover, the localized uplifting of this rock occurred, and this material started to erode. Therefore the different weathering conditions, the more durable sandstone endured. While the more easily weathered siltstone and shale eroded away, acquiescent this remarkable scenery.
The rare rock formations in Fantasy Canyon will eventually weather away and then topple and erode into the sand. But fresh formations will appear as the topsoil washes away. Hence, the subtle formations are so brittle the area is referred to as “Nature’s China Shop.” This region may be hard to get to, but one is rewarded with a short easy walk of less than one mile through a variety of fantastic formations.
Though not a destination, this makes a great, short, roadside attraction before or after floating the White River. This is also a great place for kids to play and explore. Also, this is a gas field buzzing with a high volume of truck traffic. The road is fairly rough, so please drive cautiously.
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